When you roleplay a Druid in DnD your roleplay might be directed towards alignment above everything else. Most people don’t focus on roleplaying the aspects of a druid, and this needs to change.
When people roleplay a Druid they roleplay either the ‘civilization ah!’ or ‘I am neutral’ card. You can be a wise man, compare, study, or love nature!
Druids do not have to all be the same. We are going to first go over why most druids are the same, and then go over what you can do to make a unique and interesting druid.
Druids have in the past required you to be true neutral. This means that you most of the time have no opinion for or against anything. It makes you seem like this picture.
He stands neither for nor against anything. just a blank slate that will do anything that others say. If there is a conflict, Druids will try to make everyone agree that doing nothing is best. Therefore, in order to roleplay a Druid in DnD you need to be the most boring person on the planet. Or at least, the most non-confrontational person in existence.
This might have led to some bland druids that go along with anything and everything, but Druids have a second stereotype. The city hater.
If Druids are asked anything they will not give an opinion. Unless of course that opinion is about cities or the destruction of nature. Then they remember their programing and start speaking up.
Everything in the city is evil! I can’t stand it. It is unnatural and everything is bad!
These druids are the ones that cannot do anything inside a city and always voice their complaints. The same goes for if nature is being destroyed. If a tree is being leveled they will hippie style chain themselves to the tree in order to stop the destruction.
The problem is that this isn’t really how nature would work. Nature is a cruel thing. Plants, animals, and other living organisms die all the time. They sometimes die in order to help other living creatures. So saying that you can’t destroy a tree isn’t as druidy as most people think.
This all comes from 1 problem.
People don’t understand nature.
This makes them unsure of how to roleplay a druid in DnD, and how to interact with nature. That is why we are going to go over some different types of druids and hopefully show you how to interact with nature.
The city druid
That is right. You did not read wrong. This section is devoted to druids inside a city. This is to directly oppose the ‘cities are bad!’ druids out there.
For most druids, when they come into a city they will never have seen such sights. They will be fascinated, and possibly admire what people have accomplished.
This does not mean that city druids will adopt mechanical items or even advocate for technology. City druids will focus more on the gardens, parks, and local wildlife. Cities do have local wildlife, and some of that wildlife includes birds and rats.
City druids might also admire how humanoids have realized and mastered what nature wanted in their predators. To consume, grow, and evolve. This admiration does not need to be purely idealistic. It can have a dark side.
If a druid sees a child being bullied, will that druid help the child? Your answer to this question will help shape what druid you are and how you roleplay a druid in DnD.
If you do help the child, you view children as an evolving species and want to see where this new mutation to nature leads. Mutations are not bad, they are something new and interesting. It is how many species evolve.
If you do not help the child, that is just nature taking its course. Young die every day in the wild and this is just how nature works.
As you can see being a city druid is not only possible but can make you an interesting person with unique views of the world. This is because you always link everything to nature even when it is not obvious.
Comparing to nature
Everything once came from nature. Therefore, it is only natural that you make the comparison to nature. (Please forgive the pun.)
When you roleplay a druid in DnD your power and knowledge come from nature. So why not compare things to nature? To clarify, I do not mean to be the person who compares literally everything to nature.
If there is a dilemma, you can use nature to guide your deductive reasoning. This may lead to harsh decisions, but interesting ones since you are coming from a different point of view.
For example, if a town of people is starving because they have no food you might let them starve. Why? Whenever a predator has consumed too much of the local food they decrease in numbers. The same thing is happening here and these townspeople need to lose a few of their numbers in order to get back to a sustainable way of living.
Is this a humane decision? Oh, gods above and below no! If a politician made that decision in our world they would hopefully be taken out of office. You are not a politician though. You are just a person who’s views are a little different than other peoples. That is why your insight and conclusions might be different.
For non-morbid ways of thinking, here is another example.
Your party has been trying to capture the bad guy. You have all been trying to follow her trail but to no avail. That is when you propose something. Animals in nature do not always try to outrun and catch their prey. Some develope camouflage and lure the prey into their maw. You are suggesting a trap, but this way of thinking comes from nature and gives a new perspective on the situation.
You can compare things to nature and have this shape how your character views the world and other situations. You are also a wise person, so you should be able to draw upon nature for wisdom. But let’s look into that aspect of wisdom.
Most spellcasters in tribes are druids. They are called shamans, but at the end of the day, their spells fall under the druid spell list. You can be 1 of these people!
We often think of savages who come from tribes as barbarians, but why not be a druid with this same background? You can roleplay a druid in DnD with that savage background like a barbarian, but be more respected and cautious.
This type of character would most likely be interested in using magic items by relating their purpose to the tools that barbarians use in a hunt for animals. They are just a tool, after all, nothing to be afraid of.
You can dip into how clerics roleplay and use religious tools, symbols, etc to make your roleplay even more interesting. There are a lot of options to use from this holy man persona.
Shamans will relate many things to nature, but they will also let you play off that ‘wild man’ persona. It can be extremely fun to play a more composed and intelligent version of most barbarians, and you have a reason to go with these people.
You might have received your purpose in a vision or are going to help an important cause. There is a reason why you are doing whatever you are doing, and druids always have a purpose.
Every druid has a reason for what they are doing. They don’t just exist because they should exist. Druids have a reason for what they are doing. If they are going to destroy a city, it might be to defend a forest. If a druid is going to burn a forest, it might be so that a new and stronger forest comes into play.
Many other classes have these ways to attain a purpose. A warlock, cleric, or paladin just get purpose from their god. You get purpose in some other method. Nature speaks to you and you can interpret the signs.
There is a reason why you are joining the party, and you might have intentionally met them to fulfill this reason. A power might be rising in a civilization that would siphon off energy from the weave and therefore all life. You are joining this group to eventually use your allies to destroy this evil even though you don’t know where or who it is.
It could be something as vague as feeling that you need to go with this group. You are sure that your goal will be revealed along the way, but there is a purpose.
You can have a purpose in a strange, uncharacteristic, or straightforward way but you always have a purpose. When you roleplay a druid in DnD, this purpose is part of what makes druids wise. They are not just acting to flail about and do nothing. Even if their purpose is naive at first.
Changing the world
We just talked about having a purpose, so what better purpose is there than to change the world? This can be done in an infinite number of ways, let’s just take a look at a few of the ways.
Helping civilization grow
This may seem odd to most people, but civilization is the ultimate culmination of what nature wants to become. The predators are sustained on the land and these creatures are the apex predators.
You might want to further that evolution and make people start expanding. Keeping humanoids, the crown jewel of natural evolution, alive and thriving.
You can do this by making civilization realize how to live with nature. Expand upon gardens, preach the importance of wildlife, and have civilization create even sturdier creatures through selective breeding.
However you want to help civilization grow, it can be a good thing.
When you roleplay a druid in DnD you are generally a good character. It is hard to play an evil character with the group or a Dm and have that go over well. This is why you might want to go about righting wrongs that you see in the word.
What is actually wrong and how you should right them is completely up to you. If you roleplay a druid in DnD who believes in survival of the fittest then you might right the wrong of lazy dictators who are not the strongest.
Other wrongs might involve introducing new wildlife into a pre-existing habitat. In order to save the existing wildlife from an invasive species, you must destroy that species.
There are many different ways to change the world, but how you do it is completely up to you. This will shape you play your druid, but there is 1 interesting way to right wrongs that I want to get into.
Druids are students of nature. So why don’t they study it? Most druids are obsessed with protecting and preserving nature. Why don’t you roleplay a druid in DnD that is more concerned with understanding nature?
This could make the druid a doctor, scientist, or whatever you want. A druidic doctor would be extremely interesting. You already have a huge bonus to your medicine skill, so why not put that to good use?
As for studying life, you can easily work that into your character. We have zoologists, biologists, and many more professions dedicated to studying life. Strangely enough, you could even get into alchemy in order to do this. A modern science (in DnD) to help explore the mysteries of life!
The biological scientist is an archetype that I have never seen but would love to see in 1 of my games. On the opposite end, is your cleric religious?
We discussed how druids might have symbols and other divining tools. This could be just how they interpret nature, but what about belief in a god?
Druidic magic is divine in nature. It comes from the gods ultimately and there are many gods of nature. That begs the question, does your druid worship these gods?
If so, who do they worship and how are they different than a cleric? That is up to you to answer and it can be a fascinating relationship.
On the opposite spectrum, what if your druid does not worship a god? Of course, they still get magic from nature/the gods of nature, but how? Does nature chose them as an avatar or do they wield the power of nature like how wizards wield magic? Do druids have to siphon the magic from the gods of nature or are they just given it?
These are so many interesting questions that answering any of them in the religion section will help you roleplay a druid in DnD. It will build upon the lore of the world and make your character not only more developed but wiser.
When you roleplay a druid in DnD you have many different avenues to explore.
Most players either stick to the neutral alignment of impartiality because of historical precedent. Some other players convey their distrust of cities, but most druids do not become very deep.
You can be different, and be better. Don’t just hate the city because it is a city. Think of what is good about cities or why you would hate it. Have a purpose, consider religion, and compare it to nature when needed.
You could be a shaman or a scientist, but you do not have to be a boring character. I have faith that with even just some of these ideas, you can become one of the most interesting druids to grace your table.
I hope that I was able to help you play a better druid, and if you are interested in playing any other class then please look them up on our site!
Also, if you want to check out our other guides on how to roleplay different classes then check out our theory blogs here!
This has been Wizo and keep rolling!